Inter-generational connection between grandparents and grandchildren is a theme close to my heart. My first picture book, When I See Grandma was based on visiting my mother with my children when she was in an aged care home, and helping them connect despite the distance of age and limitations of infirmity. And now as my children have grown into adults, it could well be me that is soon the grandmother! Scary thought! So when I saw Susan Day's new non-fiction book for grandparents to help them connect with their grandchildren, I had to learn more.
I knew of Susan over social media connections. She has been encouraging grandparents to read to their grandkids for some time, and even provided a resource - Astro's Adventures Book Club, to assist. On her blog, she often features books by other authors as well as her own books.
I had a quick peek inside The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing! online, and it struck me as a well researched and inherently practical guide for grandparents wanting to be thoughtful and intentional in developing relationships with grandchildren rather than leaving it to chance. So I am delighted to host a guest post by Susan Day where she tells of the impetus to write this helpful resource. So, over to Susan Day:
From Children’s Author to Grandmother in 47 years
I have been writing children’s books for so long I can’t remember. My first children’s book was written when I was a child, quite a small one, and I still have the book. It’s really old, but I can still make out the story even though the tiresome effort of writing all five pages resulted in the last lines literally falling off the page.
Years later, and even though I was technically a grown up, I still wrote children’s books. Only these books have a lot more words in them, and thanks to computers none of the lines fall of the page.
When I became a grandmother at the very young age of 47, I still continued to write children’s books, but there was a nagging issue ebbing away in the back of my mind.
Questions All Grandparents Face
What would this little person think of me? Did I have to buy presents every time I saw him? What if he didn’t like me? Me? I’m nice, I think.
I decided to do some research, and that’s just what I did.
I discovered that grandparents are richer and healthier than they have ever been in the history of the world. I discovered that they come in all different shapes and sizes, and that they suffered terrible depression and were even suicidal when separated from their grandkids.
Now, this made me very sad so I thought more deeply about my role as a grandparent (by this time I had added to my collection of small people substantially). What could we grandparents do to make a positive effect on our grandchildren’s lives? What memories could we leave them with? What if they grew up not knowing us, and not laughing at all of my terrible jokes?
The Journey from Children’s Author to Non Fiction Writer
So, I embarked on my journey to write my first non-fiction book, The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing!
Sure, the title is long, but being a grandparent is a serious business, and we all know many important things have very long titles.
In this book I set out how all grandparents should develop their own grandparenting philosophy, and learn from each other. I even have questions to answer at the end of each chapter, but I think that’s because the teacher in me won over a few times.
Best of all this book is relatable and sometimes funny. It doesn’t take the role of grandparenting too seriously, but it also demands that its readers step out from behind those aprons or workbenches and actively take part in their grandchildren’s lives.
We grannies and grandpas have so much to offer. We are strong, healthy, have a bit of extra cash, and most importantly soooo much time to share. Some of us also have the best, no I mean the worst, jokes of all.
Well, what else can I do? I don’t knit, bake or watch daytime TV. I write, I draw, and I’m learning to box (Muhammad Ali style, kind of). Now, there’s a useful skill to pass on to my granddaughters – jab, upper cut, duck!
Do you have precious memories of your grandparents? Do you find your role as grandparent a little confusing or do you have it perfectly sown up? If it’s the latter, how did you achieve such a miracle?
About Susan Day
Susan Day is a passionate author, educator and, of course, a grandmother. She wants to empower all grandparents to build meaningful relationships with their grandchildren. Discover here the Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing.
Also, her blog, Astro’s Adventures Book Club, is full of ideas and tips for grandparents who want to build a strong relationship with their grandchildren through reading and sharing books.
Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three bossy cats, two rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo.